The 30 UK postcodes where drivers have suffered the most car-shunt insurance scams - so does your area feature?Mon, 09/10/2017
Being involved in a car crash can be a scary and unnerving experience. It can also be costly. Unfortunately car-shunt insurance scams have become a more common problem, making a car crash an even more stressful experience.
Rob Hull, The Mail Online, reports:
The 30 UK postcodes where the most drivers have fallen victim to crash-for-cash scams in the last year have been revealed - and it doesn't make great reading if you live in the Midlands or the North of England.
Birmingham appears most frequently in the top 30 list - in fact, five Birmingham postcodes are among the top 10 locations where fraudulent accidents have been masterminded, according to data from the Insurance Fraud Bureau.
The IFB said it knows of one instance where a crash-for-cash victim has died as a result of one of the pre-empted collisions.
While Birmingham postcodes were most prominent, the Manchester postal area was also a regular in the list with five appearances in the top 30.
Neighbouring Oldham and Bolton also appeared in the list, compounding the misery for drivers in the north west.
West Yorkshire was another notable crash-for-cash hotbed, with Bradford postcodes being listed five times in the top 30.
The IFB said it hopes to use the new data to identify the areas being targeted to carry out these scams, working closely with the police and insurers to stem the spate of deliberate accidents and put the criminals responsible for them behind bars.
Ben Fletcher, Director of the IFB said: 'These scams may seem to some to be a harmless way to beat the system and get an easy pay out with minimal risk.
'The reality is that not only do those people now stand a very good chance of getting caught and facing the consequences, but these scams put other motorist’s lives at risk.
'Fraudsters are taking vehicles out on public roads and forcing innocent people into needless collisions. Not only does that present a real risk of injury, but sadly we know of at least one fatality that has occurred as a result of these incredibly dangerous and reckless incidents.
'These hotspots may be the worst affected areas for these types of scams, but crash for cash collisions can happen anywhere, so it’s imperative that road users are aware of them, exercise appropriate caution and if they believe they’ve been a victim, report it as soon as they can.'
Last year, the Insurance Fraud Taskforce (IFT) introduced a set of measures aimed at curbing the increasing number of fraudulent crash-for-cash attempts being made by scammers.
This included insurance data being shared with anti-fraud organisations and collaborative work between regulatory bodies and the insurance sector to identify those masterminding the criminal activity.
However, research by insurer Aviva said it detects a new crash-for-cash claimant every three hours since the IFT's planned crackdown.
For the meantime, the IFB has warned motorists to remain vigilant for 'tell-tale signs' of crash-for-cash attempts.
It identified three things to look out for, which included the other driver being far too calm for someone who has just been involved in a car accident, the other party already having their insurance details written down prior to the collision and complaints of injuries that would be at odds with the force of the impact.
The IFB added that any driver who fears they may have been a victim of one of these scams should note down as much information about the accident as possible and take photos of the scene as reference.
It is also recommended that drivers call the police to report suspicions and report it to the IFB’s Cheatline either online or by calling the free phone number 0800 422 0421.
If you feel as though you’ve been a victim of an insurance fraud scam, it’s important to get in touch with the police to report it. Staying aware of the tell-tale signs is a must, and if you’re unsure it’s always best to err on the side of caution.